Thanks to Yep Roc Records you can now stream the upcoming Marah release, Angels of Destruction! Leave a comment and let me know what you think of the 6th studio album from the kids from Brooklyn by way of Philly.
After 1 listen, Angels of Destruction! sounds like the band’s biggest departure from expectation since they headed over the pond to record Float Away With The Friday Night Gods with Oasis producer Owen Morris back in 2002. But where that album disappointingly tried to ape the huge guitar sounds of Brit-rock to the point where most of their fanbase wanted nothing to do with them, here they mix their trademark folk-flavored E Street Bandisms with hints of jazz, ragtime, vaudevillian, and much more (I think I’m hearing mid-80s Elvis Costello on a lot of these songs?). One of the best songs, the fantastic "Can't Take It With You", does all this without ever sounding like anyone but Marah.
Angels Of Destruction! also finds Marah using locale as a lyrical inspiration once again, though this time they're singing about much more than just the streets of their hometown. The references to places, such as "a wine bar in the middle of Madrid", the Wild West, or a Holiday Inn in Tippecanoe, Indiana, provide the backdrops for the overarching themes - the religion, destruction, redemption, and angels that populate these stories.
The band attempts to make these influences sound seamless, and for the most part does. Although I don’t think I’m hearing the highs I heard on If You Didn’t Laugh You’d Cry, this could be their most consistent set of songs since Kids In Philly, their masterpiece and one of my 5 favorite records of the decade. Other early favorites here are the wordy "Wild West Love Song" and the driving "Santos De Madera".